Garden & Reef – Fabrication

Garden & Reef



The origami models were folded by Faye Goldman, Li-Mei Lim and Samantha Pezzimenti. 

Faye Goldman
Li-Mei Lim
Samantha Pezzimenti at work
Samantha Pezzimenti

Read also Origami in Mathemalchemy and Cootie Catcher Fortune Tellers by Faye.

Videos and references

Li-Mei Lim Flower Tower Tutorial

See the whole process on this Instagram post made by Li-Mei.

Flower Tower by Chris Palmer
Hyperbolic Garden by Daina Taimina

Hyperbolic flowers

The  negative curvature surfaces were crocheted by Daina Taimina, Li-Mei and Samantha; accents were added by Tasha Pruitt to some of them. Tasha also fabricated the small flatty-bugs exploring some of the surfaces; she used polymer clay and paint.

Flatty-bug by Tasha
Coral negative curvature surface
Hyperbolic flowers
Hyperbolic flowers
Negative curvature patchwork quilt by Daina Taimina

The negative curvature patchwork quilt was sewn by Daina.

Garden sculpture

The Garden sculpture resulted from a collaboration between Rochy Flint, Sabetta Matsumoto and Emily Baker; Sabetta designed the horned sphere that was then 3D-printed in metal; Emily constructed the welded steel base. 

Alexander’s Neverending Sculpture

Erathostenes sieve

The frame for the Erathostenes sieve was designed and fabricated by Li-Mei and her father Beoleong Lim. The sieves themselves were fabricated by Faye in several stages : first colored tulle fabric strips and squares were Mod Podged® onto thin acrylic sheets, into which  little square windows were cut with a vinyl cutter.  These were glued inside thicker acrylic square frames, fabricated by laser cutting large windows in thick acrylic. They were then painted by Tasha.

The sled and wagon transporting the sieves for 7 and 11 were fabricated by Elizabeth Paley from material acquired from the Scrap Exchange.  

Read also Primes in the Garden by Li-Mei

Squirrels and Chipmunks

Bronna Butler's Sketch
Bronna Butler’s chipmunk illustration

The first design for the squirrels was by Bronna Butler; the chipmunks were designed by Bronna and Rochy. Both were fabricated in ceramics by Liz. 

Read also Prime Play on a Prime Day by Rochy and Round Peg, Square Hole: Designing Clay Critters for Mathemalchemy by Liz

  • Clay chipmunks with Babylonian numbers by Liz Paley
  • Rodents in progress

Chipmunks Scene

The wooden acorns in the chipmunk scene were bought on Etsy and detailed by Faye and Rochy. The yellow rings were fabricated by Kathy. The heptagonal baskets were designed by Rochy and fabricated out of polymer clay by Ingrid. The cuneiform-number tiles were designed by Liz and Rochy and fabricated in ceramics by Liz. The playground floor was designed by Dominique Ehrmann, Rochy, and Tasha and fabricated by Dominique out of industrial upholstery fabric. The papyrus plant was made by Faye, Carolyn Yackel, Susan Goldstine, and Tasha Pruitt. The minimal surfaces urn the papyrus plant is growing in was made by Liz Paley.

Cuneiform tablets. Image: Liz Paley
Liz taking a picture of the Chipmunks
Dominique and Tasha sewing the Chipmunk floor fabric
Dominique and Rochy
Rochy placing the Chipmunks scene

Riemann Cliffs

The Riemann cliffs were designed by Ingrid Daubechies. They were fabricated and worked on by many members of the group in Durham in the July 2021 build of the installation, under the leadership of Stefan Zauscher. They were painted by Tasha. 

See more in the Fabrication of the Tortoise

Johnson solids

Johnson, archimedean and platonic solids were designed for 3D printing by Henry, 3D printed by Shapeways, and painted by Tasha.

  • Coral reef and see creatures in Knotical Scene
  • Coral reef in Knotical Scene

Star fish

The star fish in the Reef were fabricated by Faye, Kathy Peterson, Samantha and Ingrid, following (and adapting) a design from Off the Beaded Path.


The textile base of the reef was designed and fabricated by Tasha, as were all the pebbles, rocks and critters not described above.


Origami Flowers

Flower Towers

Created by Chris Palmer, fabricated by Li-Mei.

Bell-like Flowers

Origami em Flor Kusudamas, guirlandas e buquês, (Origami in Flower), Flaviane Koti and Vera Young, Self published, ISBN 978-85-411-0397-8

These flowers are all made in a similar manner. The difference is in the initial piece of paper, The pentagon flower shows the least amount of the background green color, and heptagon shows the most.

  • Flor ‘Jasmim Manga’ starts with a pentagon p 77.
  • Flor ‘Amarílis ’ starts with a hexagon p 78.
  • Flor Rainbow starts with a heptagon.
  • 6 sided Iris
  • 4 sided Iris Traditional model
  • Mark’s Star


-Hydrangea created by Shuzo Fujimoto, fabricated by Faye


-By Michael laFosse, fabricated by Faye


Yoshizawa Butterfly was designed by Akira Yoshizawa and fabricated by Faye.

Rocks and Boulders

-Sonobe modules were used to make models consisting of 3,6,9,12 and 30 pieces. 

Look carefully to find:

  •  3 piece Toshie Jewels (hexahedra)
  •  6 piece cubes
  •  9 piece colliding cubes
  • 12 piece augmented or elevated octahedra
  • 30 piece augmented or elevated icosahedra

Rocks and Boulders

The Sonobe module was invented by Mitsunobu Sonobe. It may be the most well-known of modular origami.

There are models in the installation made with 3,6,9,12 and 30 units (right).

3 modules, also known as Toshie’s Jewel. Each module links into the other two (left).

6 modules create a cube with each module as a face of the cube

9 modules create 2 crashing cubes. 3 rust modules are connected to 3 brown modules with 3 black modules.

12 modules form vertices of 3 and 4. It is called an elevated or augmented octahedron. Notice, if colored with 3 different modules there are two distinct variations where the same color doesn’t touch along an edge.

30 modules form vertices of degree 3 and 5. It is called an elevated or augmented icosahedron. The model on the left uses 3 different colors. The model on the right has 5 different colors. If you look carefully, you will see a triangular prism resting on each face of the underlying icosahedron.

More coloring of Sonobe models:

For more information and instructions to make the basic module:


-Origami Straw Star was designed by Jo Nakashima and fabricated by Faye

-Chinese Lucky Star a traditional model fabricated by Faye

Mod Podge® is a registered trademark of Plaid Enterprises of Norcross GA, United States

Read more about the Garden & Reef

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